I spent the bulk of this afternoon in Brownsville, checking in on the Brownsville Community Justice Center. I'm not sure that it was the coldest day of the winter, but it certainly felt like it. While the streets were freezing, our headquarters were full of warmth. I might have been a bit cranky as I came in off Pitkin Avenue, but it was hard to stay in a bad mood as I heard about all of the good works currently happening under our auspices -- computer labs, public art campaigns, community service projects at local food kitchens, partnerships with the NYPD and the NYC Department of Probation...the amount of activity was truly staggering. Congrats to James Brodick and the whole team for their hard work and good cheer in difficult circumstances.
A few other bits and bobs that caught my eye from around the Internet:
- We have made some staffing changes as we have re-organized to cope with the passing of Alfred Siegel. One result is that we are looking for a new project director at our flagship project, the Midtown Community Court.
- Congrats to the Steve Banks of the Legal Aid Society, who New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to lead the Human Resources Administration today. I have enjoyed working with Steve over the years and wish him well in his new role.
- Next City, a website that looks at urban affairs, has a feature entitled "I Was Arrested for Running After Dark" that describes the experience of a defendant whose case was heard at the Red Hook Community Justice Center.
- Is funding inmates' college education a worthwhile investment? The Staten Island Advance runs a poll about Governor Cuomo's plan to support prison education. As a board member of the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education, I personally think this is a good idea, but apparently there has been significant resistance to this new initiative.
- Our pals in London, the Centre for Justice Innovation, release a great new monograph called Streetcraft that profiles innovative frontline criminal justice practitioners in the UK.
- In a nice bit of collaboration, Mayor de Blasio joined Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, which is headed up by former Center for Court Innovation director John Feinblatt.